Are you an Umbrella Manager?

Sarah is an ‘umbrella manager’ - always ready to shield her team from organisational chaos and politics. Though well-intentioned, this management style leads to her own heightened stress and anxiety.

Harvard Business Review warns that excessive protection from ‘umbrella managers’ can create overdependency within a team, strain peer relationships, and create a higher risk of burnout for the manager. To strike a more effective balance, consider these three strategies:

1. Self-Reflection: Reflect on your reasons for shielding your team. Are you afraid to let them fail because of how it reflects on you? Do you want your team to like you? Do you distrust their abilities?

2. Promote Problem-Solving: Instead of saving the day, encourage your team to brainstorm their own solutions. Ask "What options do you see?" to nurture critical thinking and independence.

3. Embrace Learning from Failure: Let your team face some challenges alone. Short-term difficulties (and even failures) are essential for developing long-term resilience and capability.

While it can be challenging to watch your team struggle, remember that each challenge they overcome independently builds confidence and skills that are vital for their growth. 

Umbrella Manager